Construction goes digital to meet skills shortage

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre’s (CSIC) postgraduate programme is to support 30 Scottish and EU students in the forthcoming academic year, double the number previously.

The students will study courses across 13 Scottish universities in a diverse range of subject areas including civil engineering, product design, data science, gaming science, international human resources and building performance environmental design. It is hoped that these graduates will help address the skills shortages in many areas of the Scottish construction industry.

‘Working closely with industry’

Working with the Scottish Funding Council, CSIC will part-fund the course fees of the students, who will also benefit from working closely with industry, contributing to industry research and helping participating businesses achieve higher levels of innovation and productivity.

The students will begin their courses next month and will engage with CSIC throughout their studies. The final three months of their year-long course will be a research project, either working on a challenge set by a participating Scottish construction business or on wider industry challenges linked to carbon emissions, future cities and the digitisation of construction.

Addressing a skills shortage

Towards the end of their research, the students will take part in a hackathon to share knowledge and work together with industry experts over an intensive weekend to hack ideas and solutions to these challenges.

Bruce Newlands, head of technical operations at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and the postgraduate programme co-ordinator said: “Skills shortages across the construction industry are a pressing problem. This programme is one of the ways that CSIC aims to bring fresh talent into the Scottish construction industry from a broad range of disciplines.

“The students will benefit from part payment of their studies, industry engagement, access to CSIC facilities and networks. In turn they will help our industry with new perspectives, cutting edge technology and research support over the three-month period where they will focus on industry challenges.”

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